This summer, Recology CleanScapes started its Artist in Residence (AIR) program, selecting two Shoreline artists, Karien Balluff and Sarah Reuther as the first participants. The AIR program is a unique art and education program that provides King County artists with access to discarded materials, a stipend, and studio space at Recology’s Seattle MRF. Karien and Sarah spent three months working out of Recology’s MRF, dumping traditional art creations to creatively repurpose discarded items into inspired masterpieces. During their residencies, artists speak to school classes and adult tour groups about the experience of working with repurposed materials.
Karien and Sarah displayed their pieces during the August First Thursday Art Walk in Pioneer Square. Their art was created from repurposed materials, ranging from discarded shoes to snowboards to mattress springs. Sarah describes her artist vision, saying that “working with a recycled medium is consistent with my values of conservation and it is exciting to watch something that was discarded be transformed. In the end, it is about seeing something differently; a material that once had a utilitarian purpose now is seen differently as an object of interest and beauty.”
Modeled after Recology San Francisco’s program, the AIR program hopes to encourage people to waste zero and promote new ways of thinking about art and the environment. Upon completion of each residency, artists will contribute their masterpieces to a permanent collection, which will be on display to promote Recology’s Waste Zero mission. Recology CleanScapes is excited to build its own collection here in the Northwest!